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Raleigh May Soon Cash In On March Madness

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RALEIGH — Two college basketball tournaments tip off this week in Raleigh. Neither generates the kind of business the NCAA Men's Tournament will bring to Greensboro, but Raleigh's days of being left out of big-league sporting events may soon come to an end.

With the start of the NIT tournament, the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau is paying close attention to the NIT and the women's NCAA games. The Bureau's David Heinl wants to determine the economic impact the games will have on the area.

The Entertainment and Sports Arena wants to take advantage of that positive impact. Sims Hinds of the Carolina Hurricanes says that talks are already underway with the NCAA about bringing future regional tournaments to the Triangle.

The arena will be able to seat 20,000 for basketball games. Hinds says the market is great for bringing in many high caliber events, like the CIAA Tournament. There's even talk of resurrecting the old Dixie Classic Tournament, which was popular in the 1960's.

The CIAA Tournament brought at least $8 million to Winston-Salem last month.


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